Russ Anber chimes in on David Lemieux vs. Curtis Stevens
Hard-hitting, all-action middleweight contenders David Lemieux, 36-3 (32), and Curtis Stevens, 29-5 (21), will square off on March 11 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York.
If styles indeed make fights, then this one has ‘Fight-of-the-Year’ candidate written all over it.
Both fighters are working toward securing another world title shot and they both know a win in this fight would be a huge step.
Since being stopped in four rounds by middleweight king Gennady Golovkin in October of 2015, Lemieux has rebounded with two wins.
Last year, Lemieux dispatched Glen Tapia in four rounds in Las Vegas in May. He followed that win with a 10-round decision over rugged Argentinean Christian Fabian Rios at home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in October.
Like Lemieux, Brooklyn, New York’s Stevens comes into the bout in a rebuilding phase of his career after being stopped by Golovkin in November of 2013. Since that eighth round stoppage loss to “GGG,” Stevens has gone 4-1. Stevens knows a big win, in a high-profile fight, against a perennial contender like Lemieux, could make a great case for him to receive another title shot.
Both fighters share career-similarities in a loss to mutual opponent Golovkin. More importantly, for fight fans, they share a similar style that could see a lot of fireworks when they meet. Both men like to move forward and look to load up on huge shots, have power and will be looking to end this before the final bell.
In short, this one could be fun while it lasts.
Former Lemieux trainer Russ Anber knows the Montreal-based middleweight as well as anyone, having worked with him for years, since the days he first started boxing at age nine.
UCNLive caught up with Anber, while in Northport, Alabama (in camp with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder), to get his thoughts on the bout that many are predicting is a can’t-miss, all-action war.
“Well, I think it is going to be a great fight. You have two of the best punchers in the division and both like to come forward and try to land their big shot, so it definitely has the potential to be a great fight,” said Anber. “I really can’t see it going past too many rounds, the way they both look to land – but you never know.”
Asked how he saw the fight playing out, Anber said the fight might surprise people in how it unfolds.
“Sometimes, when you have two punchers who can crack like these guys, both of them are wary of the other guy’s power, so they get into a bit of a defensive mode. In that sense, there is the chance the fight might go some rounds,” said Anber “but if either guy lands something, they will get right on it and look to follow up with the huge shots because that is how they both like to fight. They are both looking to land that big shot, all the time. So, in that way, you can see it being a very explosive fight. But, in another way, you can see how they may be defensive, as well as being respectful of the other guy’s power.”
One thing that really spoke to Anber about the power his former fighter possesses is how middleweight king Gennady Golovkin boxed Lemieux when they fought in October of 2015. While GGG would ultimately stop Lemieux, it was how the powerful Golovkin fought Lemieux that caught Anber’s eye.
“Look at the way GGG fought Lemieux,” Anber said. “Usually Golovkin wades in there and is looking to land his heavy shots and he isn’t worried about anything coming back from his opponent but, in that fight, he was very careful how he boxed Lemieux. At the beginning of the fight, he was being very careful not to get caught with anything because he had a lot of respect for Lemieux’s power.”
Asked to make a prediction, Anber was a bit hesitant but he was sure that, whatever the outcome, he agreed with the general consensus that it was going to be good.
“I’m not sure I want to make a prediction,” Anber said, “but I will say this: It should be a very good fight. Lemieux is really one of the most powerful punchers in boxing and, when he is in there, it can be explosive at anytime. And Stevens is a very good puncher also, so I guess I would lean towards Lemieux as the favorite but it should be a very good fight.”